As a debtor, you have certain rights that are guaranteed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These rights are guaranteed to you regardless of how much debt you hold and, if your rights are being breached and you are the victim of creditor harassment, you can seek legal remedy. At the office of Hinkle Law, PLLC, our debt collection and creditor harassment attorneys can provide you with support when you’re facing harassment or abuse by creditors. Reach out to us today for a consultation to learn more about your rights and options.
Your Rights As a Debtor
While a creditor does have a right to collect a debt, how and when that debt can be collected is limited by federal law, primarily the FDCPA. The regulations under the FDCPA are enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, and hold that debt collectors cannot use unfair, abusive, or deceptive tactics to collect debt. The law requires that debt collectors do specific things when collecting a debt, such as provide you with written notice of the debt. Specifically, under the law, debt collectors are prohibited from:
- Calling debtors before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.;
- Calling a debtor while they are at work;
- Harassing the debtor in any way, which may include excessive calls, threatening to report the debt to law enforcement or another party, etc.;
- Making any false or misleading statements or misrepresenting themselves—debt collectors must disclose their true identity;
- Adding any authorized charges to the debt as a way to punish the debtor; or
- Using abusive or obscene language when talking to the debtor.
What to Do If Your Rights Are Being Breached
While the law protects you from harassment and abuse, creditors don’t always follow the rules. If you are being harassed, you have the right to take action. To begin, you should write down and document the harassment, keeping detailed notes about when the debt collector is calling and what they are saying. Then, you should submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which you can do online or over the phone. It may also be wise to contact your state’s attorney general to file a complaint.
A debt collection and creditor harassment attorney can also help. An attorney can help you to file your complaint, as well as understand and pursue other remedies that may be available to you. You may be able to sue the debt collector for harassment and receive up to $1,000 in damages, plus court costs and attorney fees.
Call Our Debt Collection and Creditor Harassment Attorneys Today
Being saddled with debt is overwhelming, and the experience can be exacerbated by a debt collector who is violating your rights under federal law. If you are being harassed or abused by a creditor, don’t hesitate to contact our debt collection and creditor harassment attorney at the office of Hinkle Law, PLLC directly today. We are here to support you.